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The Masked Singer's 12 Most Shocking Celebrity Reveals

Since its debut in 2019, "The Masked Singer" has become something of a cultural phenomenon. While each season has featured a different format, consistently changing up the competition, the show has never waned in its ability to attract big-name celebrities.

The show pulls from all walks of fame. Although singers may be the primary demographic to fill the line of celebrity contestants, the show has featured everything from actors to sports stars, internet celebrities, politicians, and more. Many of these celebrities join the show to reignite their careers, while others have expressed interest because they like watching it with their kids. That being said, most of the contestants have cited "The Masked Singer's" incredible costume design as a big reason for agreeing to compete.

From a contestant's first performance and clue package, the internet and the judges' panel — which includes Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke — begin sleuthing to determine who might be under the mask. By the time the contestant is finally unmasked, typically at least one of the judges will have determined the celebrity's true identity, but over the years, there have been a few massive shockers that have stumped the panel ... and occasionally even the viewers at home.

Tyler Ninja Blevins (Ice Cream)

Tyler Blevins, better known by his online handle Ninja, is easily one of the biggest celebrities to have appeared on "The Masked Singer." Ninja is a gamer and streamer known primarily for his "Fortnite" gameplay. He started to gain mainstream attention by playing online with other celebrities like Drake and Travis Scott, eventually rising to become Twitch's most popular streamer with over 18 million followers.

Despite his massive success online, Ninja is a name that may not be as recognizable to many traditional network television viewers who aren't as in touch with internet celebrities. This ended up being the case for the show's judges in Season 2, when Ninja competed as the Ice Cream. Unable to recognize Ninja's voice while he was singing Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," the judges based their guesses solely on the clue package.

Ken Jeong got the closest with his guess, gamer and internet celebrity PewDiePie, while Nicole Scherzinger guessed the DJ Marshmello, who has collaborated with "Fortnite" in the past. Sadly, the Ice Cream was eliminated after his first performance, and shocked the world when he was revealed to be Ninja.

Larry the Cable Guy (Baby)

Larry the Cable Guy had been used as a celebrity guess from several of the "Masked Singer" judges long before he came on the show. Ken Jeong incorrectly guessed him as the Banana in Season 3, while Robin Thicke believed that the Mallard in Season 6 might be the famous comedian. What none of the judges predicted was that the Mallard's fellow Season 6 contestant, Baby, was actually Larry the Cable Guy all along.

To be fair to the judges, Baby seemed to be doing everything in their power to throw them off. Baby spoke in a cockney British accent, which prompted Nicole to guess that it might be Jason Statham or Gerard Butler. She eventually landed on British comedian James Corden, while Ken guessed that it might be celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey. Robin and Jenny were less fooled by the accent, guessing Chuck Norris and Bruce Willis respectively.

When Baby was unmasked, all of the judges were shocked when he was revealed to be comedian Daniel Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy. While the clue packages dropped several solid hints about Baby's identity, including nods to films that he starred in such as "Cars," "Jingle All the Way 2," and "Tooth Fairy 2," the judges were never on the right track. Since much of Larry the Cable Guy's persona is built around blue-collar America, it seemed the British accent was an effective red herring.

Donnie Wahlberg (Cluedle-Doo)

Over the first four seasons of "The Masked Singer," Donnie Wahlberg became somewhat of a running joke with his wife, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, who would often erroneously guess that he might be hiding under one of the show's masks. This would most frequently happen when contestants would give clues to being in a boy band, as Wahlberg was a founding member of the New Kids on the Block.

Wahlberg officially joined "The Masked Singer" in its fifth season. However, instead of performing as a normal contestant, he appeared each week as the mysterious Cluedle-Doo, giving the audience and judges some clues about the contestants. At the end of the season, Cluedle-Doo finally sang a song, giving the judges an opportunity to guess his identity.

Despite having guessed Donnie Wahlberg in the past, Jenny was unable to recognize her husband's voice, instead thinking that Cluedle-Doo might be the singer Akon. Ken guessed that the rooster might be comedian Kevin James, while Robin and Nicole thought it might be former guest panelist Jamie Foxx. Of course, all four guesses were wrong, and seeing Jenny freak out at her husband's reveal was easily one of the show's best moments.

Logan Paul (Grandpa Monster)

Grandpa Monster was a contestant on "The Masked Singer" Season 5, and the fourth contestant to have the word monster in their name. The costume used the same body design as the previous contestants, Monster and Miss Monster, but had a grey beard and moved with a walker. While much of Grandpa Monster's verbiage in his clue package indicated he was older, the judges were not fooled.

However, when Grandpa Monster was revealed to be internet personality Logan Paul, it took all the judges by surprise. Earlier in the season, Cluedle-Doo gave the hint that Grandpa Monster had "trained for battle," a clue many of the judges latched onto. Robin guessed the footballer Johnny Manziel, while Jenny guessed wrestler the Miz. Nicole, however, was on point when she guessed the controversial internet personality Jake Paul.

When Logan Paul was revealed to be the one behind the mask, he took the opportunity to riff on Nicole for mistaking him with his older brother. The previous clue was a reference to Logan Paul's boxing career, which has seen him square off against the legendary Floyd Mayweather. Jenny's guess ended up being pretty good in retrospect, as Logan Paul has since battled the Miz in the WWE Summerslam.

Seal (Leopard)

Unlike many of the other personalities on this list, some members of the judges' panel eventually came around to guessing Leopard's true identity before the big reveal. That being said, it took a long time before the judges were able to determine that the musician Seal was behind the Leopard's mask, as the legendary singer managed to throw the judges off his scent by changing his voice during performances and committing to the character of the Leopard.

Because the Leopard's design and personality evoked a lot of similarities with drag culture, RuPaul Charles' name was thrown around as a guess quite a bit. Later, big names like Billy Porter, Eric Benet, and even Jeff Goldblum were tossed out by the judges. Finally, after he was eliminated in Week 9, Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger managed to guess that Leopard was in fact Seal after recognizing his voice during his performance of "Big Spender" by Shirley Bassey.

Besides the obvious but clever reference to the leopard seal, Leopard's ability to hide his true identity for such a long time was an impressive feat. As a singer with a unique voice, Seal should have been instantly recognizable to any fan with a good ear, but his ability to throw his voice kept the judges and fans guessing for weeks. In addition, his commitment to the character was arguably the best since Joey Fatone's Rabbit in Season 1.

Victor Oladipo (Thingamajig)

Another contestant to surprise the judges and fans, despite having his true identity eventually guessed by Ken Jeong, Victor Oladipo is arguably one of "The Masked Singer's" most surprisingly talented vocalists. While sports stars are usually quickly identified thanks to their obvious clue packages and less-than-professional singing voices, Oladipo left the judges second-guessing whether he was a sports player or a professional singer.

Oladipo's time on "The Masked Singer" as the Thingamajig was made all the more fun thanks to his relationship with Nicole Scherzinger. Throughout the season, Nicole seemed infatuated with Thingamajig, partly thanks to his height, sweet personality, and beautiful crooning. Later, when Thingamajig was revealed to be NBA star and Miami Heat player Victor Oladipo, he revealed he would be open to taking Nicole on a date.

Arguably the most shocking part of Oladipo's reveal was that Ken Jeong was the only one to guess his identity. Throughout the first and second season of "The Masked Singer," Ken's inability to make good guesses became a running joke on the show, and his correct guess on Oladipo's identity began an impressive run of Ken correctly guessing sports stars.

William Shatner (Knight)

The Knight was the first contestant to be eliminated in "The Masked Singer" Season 8, but they still ended up being a surprisingly memorable character for many viewers. While the costume itself, which depicted a medieval knight riding a golden duck, was a lot of fun, it was the celebrity behind the mask that left the audience as well as the judges in awe.

After the Knight performed Fred Astaire's "Puttin' On the Ritz" as his first and only song, the judges' guesses were all over the place. Ken Jeong guessed David Hasselhoff while Robin guessed Weird Al Yankovic. However, it was Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg who managed to correctly guess that the Knight was the legendary "Star Trek" actor William Shatner.

Although "The Masked Singer" is no stranger to having big-name celebrities appear on the show, Shatner is easily one of the biggest household names to appear as a contestant. He's also the oldest, performing on the show at 91 years of age. While Shatner may not have had the show's best singing voice, his lively performance was wildly entertaining, leaving many viewers wishing he'd appeared on more than just a single episode.

T-Pain (Monster)

Many audiences were a bit surprised when Monster won the very first season of "The Masked Singer." While the singer was a fan favorite, they had to top the other finalists, including Donny Osmond's Peacock and Gladys Knight's Bee. However, an even bigger shock came when it was time to reveal Monster's true identity, which ended up being singer Faheem Rashad Najm, better known as T-Pain.

Despite the fact that he appeared throughout the season with numerous vocal performances and clue packages, none of the judges managed to guess that Monster was T-Pain. Robin Thicke guessed that Monster might be Jamie Foxx, while Nicole thought Cee-Lo Green was behind Monster's impressive voice. Jenny was even further off with her guess of Michael Vick. Host Nick Cannon was the only one to correctly guess T-Pain's identity, writing his guess down on a piece of paper since he wasn't allowed to share it with the judges.

While many of the clues did point to T-Pain, his frequent use of autotune and voice modulations in his early works left the judges unable to recognize his impressive voice. This ended up being a big part of the reason that T-Pain joined the show in the first place, as he expressed to the judges that he wanted audiences to hear his natural voice.

Rudy Giuliani (Jack in the Box)

Rudy Guiliani was not the first politician to appear on "The Masked Singer," but he is the most controversial. While his unmasking was certainly a big surprise for the judges, it was less so for audiences, as his appearance on the show had leaked prior to the episode's airing thanks to the stir it caused among the panel, which saw Robin Thicke and Ken Jeong walking off the set, with Jeong even muttering "I'm done."

Even though many viewers at home knew about Giuliani's appearance, it was a massive surprise for the panel. When it was time to unmask Jack in the Box, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg guessed that it might be Joe Pesci, while Nicole Scherzinger guessed Al Roker. Ken Jeong guessed Elon Musk, while Robin thought it might be Robert Duvall. After Jack in the Box's unmasking, Nicole asked Ken if the recently revealed Guiliani was Robert Duvall, to which he frustratedly responded, "No, that's not Robert Duvall."

"The Masked Singer" has seen quite a bit of backlash over the decision to have Guiliani appear on the show. The former New York mayor stated that he joined the cast of masked contestants to set an example for his granddaughter to try many different things. Luckily, the backlash hasn't permanently damaged the show's relations with Jeong, who is still a part of the judges' panel.

Mickey Rourke (Gremlin)

Gremlin first appeared on Season 4 of "The Masked Singer." After only one performance, a rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me," the Gremlin was revealed to be Golden Globe-winning actor Mickey Rourke. Rourke's appearance was a bit of a surprise on the show, as he is a highly accomplished actor, but it was more of the manner in which he was unmasked than his actual reveal that left the judges and audience at home shocked.

The judges' first impressions were actually not far off after the Gremlin's first performance. Ken Jeong guessed professional wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin due to the clue package's mentions of being a "bit combative" and "bashing worthy opponents with foreign objects." Robin Thicke had a different take, guessing that the Gremlin might be Jerry Lee Lewis based on the "checkered history" mention in the clue package. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg correctly guessed Mickey Rourke.

When it came time for the elimination ceremony, Gremlin decided to self-eliminate, pulling his mask off before the judges even had a chance to lock in their final guesses. Nicole Scherzinger never even had a chance to make a guess, as she never gave a first impression earlier in the episode. To date, Rourke is the only contestant to self-eliminate on the U.S. version of "The Masked Singer," a moment that won't soon be forgotten by viewers.

Sarah Palin (Bear)

Bear is another contestant not to survive the first night of eliminations, but is still extremely memorable thanks to the surprise reveal that it was former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin behind the mask. Palin was the first political figure to appear on the U.S. version of "The Masked Singer," and the judges and audiences could be forgiven for not expecting to see someone who was almost the vice president of the United States rapping to Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."

In terms of guesses, the judges were all over the place on Bear. Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg and Ken Jeong guessed "Full House" stars Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin, respectively. Meanwhile, Nicole guessed that Christina Applegate might be behind the mask. Robin did the best job picking up on the clues, guessing that Bear might be Tina Fey after noticing a calendar in the clue package that had the word "live" written on Saturday as a reference to "Saturday Night Live."

As it turned out, the clue was a reference to Tina Fey's popular impression of Palin on the sketch comedy show. Even host Nick Cannon, who often has a much better idea of who the contestants are than the judges, seemed genuinely flabbergasted. While other politicians have since appeared on the show, it will be hard to match the surprise of Palin's reveal.

Kermit the Frog (Snail)

It's very difficult to be more surprising than a self-eliminated Golden Globe-winning actor or the former governor of Alaska, but the only contestant to ever truly accomplish that turned out not to even be human. "The Masked Singer" Season 5 contestant Snail was eliminated after their first performance, and was revealed to be none other than the legendary Muppet Kermit the Frog.

The judges never even got close with their guesses on the Snail. Ken Jeong guessed late night host Jay Leno, while Nicole guessed comedian Billy Crystal. Robin thought that Seth McFarlane might be piloting the Snail, while Jenny had the least accurate guess with Ted Cruz. That being said, both Jenny and Robin noted that the singing voice sounded a bit like Kermit — they just never expected a Muppet to be on "The Masked Singer."

After Kermit's reveal, Ken suggested that he might be the most famous contestant to appear on "The Masked Singer," which is likely true considering how immensely popular the Muppets are. Later, in Season 8, Kermit and Miss Piggy made guest appearances during a Muppets-themed episode. While Kermit himself was the star revealed during the unmasking, his puppeteer Matt Vogel operated the Snail costume while puppeteering Kermit.